An emblem is an abstract or representational pictorial image that represents a concept, like a moral truth, or an allegory, or a person, like a king or saint.
1 Emblems vs. symbols 2 Other terminology 3 Emblems in history 4 Emblems in speech
4.1 Emblems vs. sign language
5 Emblems in culture 6 See also 7 References
7.1 Further reading
8 Notes 9 External links
Emblems vs. symbols
Although the words emblem and symbol are often used interchangeably,
an emblem is a pattern that is used to represent an idea or an
individual. An emblem crystallizes in concrete, visual terms some
abstraction: a deity, a tribe or nation, or a virtue or
An emblem may be worn or otherwise used as an identifying badge or
patch. For example, in America, police officers' badges refer to their
personal metal emblem whereas their woven emblems on uniforms identify
members of a particular unit. A real or metal cockle shell, the emblem
of St. James the Apostle, sewn onto the hat or clothes,
identified a medieval pilgrim to his shrine at Santiago de Compostela.
In the Middle Ages, many saints were given emblems, which served to
identify them in paintings and other images: St. Catherine had a
wheel, or a sword, St. Anthony Abbot, a pig and a small bell.
These are also called attributes, especially when shown carried by or
close to the saint in art. Kings and other grand persons increasingly
adopted personal devices or emblems that were distinct from their
family heraldry. The most famous include Louis XIV of France's
sun, the salamander of Francis I of France, the boar of
Richard III of England and the armillary sphere of Manuel I
of Portugal. In the fifteenth and sixteenth century, there was a
fashion, started in Italy, for making large medals with a portrait
head on the obverse and the emblem on the reverse; these would be
given to friends and as diplomatic gifts.
"The big eat the small", a political emblem from an emblem book, 1617
A totem is specifically an animal emblem that expresses the spirit of
References Drysdall, Denis (2005). "Claude Mignault of Dijon: "Theoretical Writings on the Emblem: a Critical Edition, with apparatus and notes (1577)". Retrieved 2009-05-29. Further reading
Moseley, Charles, A Century of Emblems: An Introduction to the
^ a b Oxford English Dictionary (OED2). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. 1989. ISBN 0-19-861186-2. ^ "The History of the Emblems". 2006-03-14. Retrieved 2009-05-29. History of the emblems of the International Red Cross: An account of this organisation's need to adopt an emblem to represent itself, and the factors which led to it eventually adopting a second (the red crescent) and third (the red crystal). ^ "Macmillan Dictionary". Macmillan Publishers. 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-29. macmillandictionary.com entry for "skull and crossbones" ^ Raybould, Robin (2005). An Introduction to the Symbolic Literature of the Renaissance. friedman Publishing. p. 170. ISBN 9781412053112. ISBN 1-4120-5311-0 [self-published source] ^ Piperno, Roberto. Rosamie Moore, ed. "Obelisks of Rome". Retrieved 2009-05-29. [dead link] Historical information, a map, photographs, and descriptions of Egyptian obelisks in Rome. ^ Barker, William; Mark Feltham; Jean Guthrie (1995-10-26). "Alciato's Book of Emblems: The Memorial Web Edition in Latin and English". Retrieved 2009-05-29. This page states that "Andrea Alciato's [Emblemata] had enormous influence and popularity in the 16th and 17th centuries". ^ Burgoon, Guerrero, Floyd. Nonverbal Communication (1st ed.). Pearson Education, Inc. p. 432. ISBN 9780205525003. Retrieved 12 April 2017. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Res, Brain. "Distinguishing the Processing of Gestures from Signs in Deaf Individuals: An fMRI Study". Brain Res. 1276: 140–50. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2009.04.034. PMC 2693477 . PMID 19397900. ^ Youn, Hyejin. "On the Universal Structure of Human Lexical Semantics" (PDF). Retrieved May 4, 2017. ^ Seal, Bernard. "Academic Encounters Level 4 Student's Book Reading and Writing: Human Behavior". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved May 4, 2017. ^ "What Hand Gestures Mean In Different Countries". Busuu Logo. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
Camerarius, Joachim (1605) Symbolorum & emblematum - digital facsimile of book of emblems, from the website of the Linda